A driver reportedly lost control of his car and struck pedestrians at a Riverside bus stop, killing two and seriously injuring two others, according to NBC news. The accident happened this afternoon at about 1:00 p.m. on Magnolia Avenue fairly near its intersection with Tyler Street, not too far from the Galleria at Tyler mall. According to news reports, the two fatalities involved a woman in her 20s and a little girl, 2 to 3 years old. A second woman and and a man were hospitalized in critical condition with injuries to their lower extremeties. The driver of the Kia Optima involved in the accident, a 50-year-old male, was not injured. He was taken to the Riverside Police station for questioning.
Cause of This Tragedy
While the precise cause of this accident has not yet been reported, it does not appear to have been related to any serious medical condition on the part of the driver, who was reportedly taken to the police station after the collision without first receiving any medical treatment. Had this tragedy been related to a heart attack or seizure, you might expect the driver to have been taken to the hospital along with the injured pedestrians. The driver's age, 50, would not seem to explain the accident, as it might be with an elderly driver who confuses the accelerator and brake. As of this moment, distracted or impaired driving cannot yet be ruled out as a potential cause. One thing is certain, however, the pedestrians waiting at or near the bus stop were not to blame. In all likelihood, from a purely civil liability assessment, the driver will be found solely at fault for this horrific accident, and the injuries and damages will be his responsibility.
Riverside Automobile Accidents
With regard to the 13 cities in California with a population over 250,000, Riverside actually ranks near the bottom in terms of the number of automobile accidents resulting in injury or death. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Riverside ranked 13th in pedestrian accidents in 2010. Only a total of 67 pedestrian accidents, involving death or injury, were reported in all of 2010. In light of this, the accident above might appear even more difficult to understand. Riverside is apparently a relatively safe community in this context, making the determination of the precise cause of the collision all the more important. Certainly the families of the victims will want and they very much deserve answers. While nothing can ever undo the harm and the loss suffered, determining the cause of the accident can at least bring some closure.
When evaluating the cause of an accident and the injuries and/or death resulting, a personal injury attorney will need to gather essentially the same evidence as the investigating police agency. Fortunately, the initial work done by the police can aid in making a liability determination or at least provide the foundation for a thorough reconstructive analysis. In the case above, because death and serious injuries are involved, the investigation by law enforcement will likely be quite thorough, but it is not uncommon for a civil litigator to discover additional (sometimes contradictory) facts painting an even more complete picture.
SOURCE: Car Crashes Into Riverside Bus Stop, Killing Two, NBC Southern California, by Melissa Pamer and Nyree Arabian, December 28, 2012